03 Aug Grip Pressure
When I read golf instruction books or articles about the grip everyone seems to teach pretty much the same positioning of the hands with the exception of some preferences between overlapping or interlocking. I never read too often about the importance of grip pressure.
The reality is that although most of these instruction manuals teach what we call a neutral grip, perhaps a stronger or possibly a weaker than normal grip would work best for you. In fact there have been Tour Professionals over the years who have played world class golf with a grip that wasn’t neutral. David Duval became #1 in the world with a very strong grip and Jose Marie Olazabel won two Green Jackets with what was considered a weak grip. But the one thing they would have in common along with every other good ball striker is grip pressure.
I believe first and foremost that the club should be held in the fingers of both hands and although there are specific pressure points all fingers are exerting some pressure. The specific pressure points for right handed golfers should be the last three fingers of the left hand, and the middle two fingers of the right hand. That pressure should be firm enough to maintain control of the club yet light enough to allow the hands and wrists to release the club freely. Grip pressure should stay consistent throughout the whole swing and you should pay particular attention to the top of your backswing where a very common mistake is loosening your grip pressure and losing control of the club.
Equipment is also very important here. Your golf grips should be the correct size for your hands, if you wear a glove it must fit and be in good condition, and most importantly your grips must be in good condition. Poor quality grips will cause movement of the club and subsequently make you grip too tightly to gain control. Also when playing in the rain keep your grips and hands as dry as possible.
One of the biggest differences I see in golfers going from the driving range to the first tee is a change in grip pressure. That little bit of tension or anxiety in the hands when you get to the course can increase your grip pressure and throw your swing off. So for those of you who wonder why they hit the ball so well on the driving range then couldn’t repeat it on the golf course look to your grip pressure first.